National Jeweler Network

Financial Reporting

Blue Nile: Half of holiday traffic will be mobile

By Michelle Graff

November 01, 2013

Seattle--The CEO of Blue Nile, which just recorded its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digital sales growth, said the company expects more than 50 percent of site traffic to come from mobile devices in the fourth quarter.

Speaking during the company’s third quarter earnings call held Thursday, Harvey Kanter said mobile devices accounted for more than 40 percent of site traffic in the third quarter. The company anticipates that number only to increase in the coming quarter.

Throughout the year, Blue Nile has been launching dynamically adapting web pages. This means that, instead of building an entirely separate mobile site, its pages adjust to screen of the device on which it is being viewed.

"The shopping experience needs to conform to the way they expect to interact with us on any one of those devices,” he said.

Kanter said the key elements of the migration to responsive will be completed by the fourth quarter.

“This is a critical milestone to providing customers the experience they expect in an increasingly mobile-first world. Adaptive web pages are the future of  e-commerce,” he said.

He added that Blue Nile is among the first retailers--not just jewelers--to offer this type of robust mobile experience to customers.

The Seattle-based online retailer’s net sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 29 were up 10 percent, from $89.8 million to $98.9 million.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was flat at 19 percent. Net income climbed from $1.7 million to $2.9 million.

In the United States, sales of non-engagement ring jewelry posted the biggest gain, rising 10 percent from $21.8 million to $23.9 million. Kanter said the company added Monique Lhullier diamond fashion jewelry in the third quarter, an expansion to its previously launched line of Lhullier-branded engagement rings.

Sales of engagement rings rose 7 percent from $54.1 million to $57.9 million.

International sales were up 23 percent from $13.9 million to $17.1 million. Kanter said the company’s growth was most notable in China.

Blue Nile projects net sales to range between $146 million and $161 million in the fourth quarter, up from $136.1 million in the fourth quarter 2012, and between $450 million and $465 million for the fiscal year, up from $400 million last year. The company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year ends Dec. 29.